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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Reunion Weekend

I wasn't at all sure I'd go to my 25th high school reunion.

This was not the 'I'm too cool to go,' or the 'I hated those people then, I'd hate them now.'

I actually liked most of my fellow inmates as far as I can recall. If there was any animosity there, it's certainly nothing that could be sustained over decades.

Grade school and junior high, I had some definite enemies at those ages, but by high school I don't think there was any. And I really, really enjoyed my 20-year reunion.

I made some real connections at the 20-year, people I hadn't kept up with for one reason or another who'd turned out to be very worth keeping in touch with. There was this relatively new web application, you might have heard about it, called Facebook, and I friended a lot of the peeps from the reunion there and that's why I almost didn't go to the 25th.

Well, there's the expense. If memory serves, I paid $55 to go to the party five years ago. I was single, and that fee was an all-inclusive deal, appetizers, DJ and an open bar. Not cheap, but not expensive for a night on the town, right? Fast forward to today and I'm remarried, which effectively doubles the price. I think I still could have got it for $55 if I'd signed up early but I thought Facebook had me covered.

Facebook is in a lot of ways a perpetual high school reunion. In the past year or so I've found two girlfriends from back then to catch up on what they've been up to. There are a few holdouts, but basically you can find anyone there if they'll at least throw you the bone of using their maiden name as a middle name.

But I wanted to show off my new wife, and the joint the event was booked into was Japanese, and the thought of sushi plus an open bar, well...

And I did indeed see folks I haven't connected with on Facebook. And ones I had but don't see in person nearly often enough. I could have skipped the Nara party I suppose and still done the football game and the thing at Shark's on Friday night, plus the picnic and school tour on Saturday afternoon, but these things weren't uniformly attended.

Every event brought out a unique set of people and there wasn't a single one where I didn't see someone (or more than one) I was genuinely glad to see.

And at all these events I took pictures. Of course.

It might look like a lot, but these few are the best of what I got and there's a lot that went straight to the cutting room floor.


I was too busy interacting with folks to really chimp the pics, so I happily clicked away and screwed up a lot of shots. I don't like the digital noise I get at high ISO settings and while I cranked it up a bit I didn't go nearly far enough based on how many blurry friends I seem to have looking at everything.

Some of the good shots are really good, but I should have lived with more digital noise, I'd have gotten some people who aren't in this post because what's the point of posting a blurred out pic?

The tour of the school was really worthwhile, too. When we were starting, I muttered something about 'were the ceilings this low back then?'

It's not like I'm taller than I was back then, but I know my grade school seemed tiny when I revisited it, so maybe memory inflates the actual size of things.

Turns out, just a couple years after I graduated they added air conditioning and the drop ceilings are covering up the ductwork for that.

Air conditioning in a school? Northwest had it back then but it was so unusual the district declared heat days and even they got to skip school when that happened.

They have an animal room and all kinds of stuff (like a third gymnasium, a band room, choir room, and third theater they didn't have back when I was a student there).

The chinchilla in the animal room freaked me out at first glance. I don't think the picture conveys it, but the impression (I wasn't alone in this) was that what was visible was the whole animal, sitting on a block. The head is 90% of this animal and the effect is very children's book.

I'd say maybe a fourth of our class attended at least some part of this affair and the only way it could have been better is if you could up that percentage.

Well, and if by upping that percentage you got Julie Denesha there. She can do a lot of damage with a camera, a lot more than me.

Monie Montemayer, for that matter, she was the one who always had a camera in front of her, the mover and shaker behind the yearbooks and all that. You'd think she'd have made a career in photography and/or graphic design, but it turned out no.

But then a lot of my peers would have guessed my living would have come from something involving a guitar in my hands which hasn't really been the case.

Anyway it was great to see all the beautiful people I went to school with who turned out. Hope to see them all and many more at the 30-year.

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